megatron: (Default)
megatron ([personal profile] megatron) wrote2007-10-18 08:55 pm

Fanfiction: Moments in Time - PotC - PG-13 - James/Elizabeth

Title: Moments in Time
Author: [personal profile] whisperwords | [personal profile] megatron
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Pairing: James/Elizabeth
Rating: PG-13
Summary: AU - Elizabeth Swann never falls from the battlements. These are ten drabbles from that alternate timeline.
Disclaimer: PotC and the franchise belong to Disney, I'm just toying with it.
Word Count: 1,000 exactly.


He is standing with his back to her and she cannot breathe. She fans herself and gasps for air – “I cannot breathe,” she wheezes – and he turns sharply and catches her just as her vision starts to go.

When she comes to there is a commotion about her, and none save her father look more worried than he. She assures them all that she is okay, and they usher her home with haste.

The next day he comes calling – “How are you feeling, Elizabeth?” – and after a turn about the garden, he asks for her hand in marriage. She accepts.

*****

He has to leave merely a week after they marry and she sends him off with a chaste kiss to the cheek and a weak smile. Something about the day has put her in a foul mood, and his departure does not help matters. There is a smattering of gray clouds on the horizon.

“I will return within the month,” he tells her, and she nods. She closes the door and turns, leaning against it and looking at her new home; it seems dreary to her and now she is alone within it.

She wonders if it will get easier.

*****

The letter arrives in a stained envelope and the wax that seals it is half-gone. The scrawl on the envelope is unfamiliar to Elizabeth, and she tears it open with curiosity. She does not like the news.

She finds herself crying unexpectedly half a day later as she glances out the windows in the front of the house. Miserably dark storm clouds and a sharp wind have settled over the bay and she cannot console herself.

That night she dreams she's with him on the battlements -- “I cannot breathe” -- but he does not turn in time to catch her.

*****

It's been three months and she's gone from inconsolable sadness right on through to seething rage and beyond to calm denial. She spends her days in sight of the docks, never turning her back on the sea.

The people of Port Royal have taken to calling her the Commodore's widow behind her back. They daren't say it to her face and they all keep her at a distance.

She does not speak often, and when she does her voice is almost toneless and without melody. None is more amazed than she at how severely she has reacted to his absence.

*****

A second letter comes a year later, even more tattered than the first. It is illegible; the ink used is almost entirely washed away. She can make out “Elizabe” and what she thinks may say “capsized,” but perhaps says “caution.” She tucks it into a drawer beside the first letter and opens the curtains.

The sky is blue and there aren't any clouds; Elizabeth's maid stands in the doorway for at least a minute, her hand shaking so violently that tea splashes out of the cup in her hand.

“Good morning, Estrella,” Elizabeth says. The teacup drops when she smiles.

*****

Weeks have passed since the second letter and her hopes, uplifted by the sea-stained page, have nearly been dashed – she dreams of pirates, blood, foaming ocean waves, and angry tentacled creatures she used to read about as a child.

She wakes with a start, her hand clutching at the fabric of her nightgown. She settles into reality after a moment, her eyes adjusting to the darkness.

“Elizabeth,” she hears beside her, and she feels the mattress shift. She turns her head sharply, whipping him in the face with her hair. He sputters.

“James?” she asks, and starts to cry.

*****

She makes him tea in the morning and as he drinks it she stares at him from across the table. After a moment he looks up at her, quirks an eyebrow.

“Elizabeth?”

“You didn't have that scar when you left here,” she says, her voice cracking over a lump in her throat. She swallows.

“I got it in the storm,” he replies softly, putting his teacup down. He comes around the table and kneels beside her chair. She traces the scar's jagged path along his jawline and bites her lip. She brushes his chin; he takes her hand in his.

*****

She worries he will hurt her, and he promises her in whispers that he will not. She bites her lip; he moves his hand gently along her shoulder and down her arm. He is above her and she can feel him, hard against her thigh. He brings his lips to hers and makes a low sound in his throat as she puts an arm around his neck.

Her worries are quickly erased as they begin, and she warms and moans as they move faster. He grabs at her hair as he comes, then sighs and whispers “I love you” afterwards.

*****

She knows it is not how things are properly done, but as the pain tears through her once again, she screams and begs and pleads with the midwife to please let James come in and hold her hand.

“You may see him after,” the woman replies, wiping at Elizabeth's forehead with a damp cloth. Elizabeth claws at her; demands with the gumption of a spoiled child to see her husband. Another contraction comes at her, hot and swift like fire, and the midwife tells her to push. Elizabeth curses as the boy is born, and the midwife lets James in.

*****

She is watching her family playing outdoors through a window. James hoists their son up onto his shoulders and brings him inside for supper; he drops the boy and tells him to wash his hands as he gives Elizabeth a kiss.

“I love you,” he says with a lopsided grin. Some of his hair has come loose from his queue.

“Forgive me the roast,” she jokes, and they eat.

That night she lies in his arms and whispers “I love you” when she thinks he's sleeping. He kisses the top of her head and replies, “I love you, too.”

[identity profile] underworldvixen.livejournal.com 2007-10-19 03:11 am (UTC)(link)
Aw, this was so amazing! This is how COTBP should've turned out. Excellent job!

[identity profile] whisperwords.livejournal.com 2007-10-26 05:36 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for the feedback, I'm glad you liked it!

[identity profile] emaline5678.livejournal.com 2007-10-19 03:44 am (UTC)(link)
Aw, very romantic AND dramatic. I love the bit where she acts like a spoiled child while in labor. She wants Norrington by her side NOW. Cute!

[identity profile] whisperwords.livejournal.com 2007-10-26 05:37 am (UTC)(link)
Hee. I was a bit inspired by her childish tantrum in the second film. :) Thanks for the feedback!

[identity profile] artic-fox.livejournal.com 2007-10-19 08:24 am (UTC)(link)
Wow, beautiful job and unique structure and idea, and I love it! I especially love how she mourns, and then he is alive and comes to her in the night. Amazing :)

[identity profile] whisperwords.livejournal.com 2007-10-26 05:37 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! And OMG, your icon! "And, of course... DALEKS!"

[identity profile] flyingpigs-live.livejournal.com 2007-10-19 01:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Aw, I love it! So sad at some points, and so sweet at others! Great job. :)

[identity profile] whisperwords.livejournal.com 2007-10-26 05:37 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. :)

[identity profile] atraphoenix.livejournal.com 2007-10-19 01:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, I wish.

[identity profile] whisperwords.livejournal.com 2007-10-26 05:38 am (UTC)(link)
I know, right?

[identity profile] rosemerry.livejournal.com 2007-10-20 11:40 pm (UTC)(link)
oh, wow! So wonderful!

[identity profile] whisperwords.livejournal.com 2007-10-26 05:38 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you! And eeee, I love your icon. <3

[identity profile] wickedground.livejournal.com 2007-10-27 03:34 am (UTC)(link)
awwwwwww cute <33

[identity profile] whisperwords.livejournal.com 2007-10-30 01:16 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad you liked it. :)